Monday, April 10, 2017


by Katie Ray
Publication Date: April 10, 2017
Published by Entangled Teen Crush
Pages: 300
Source: Publisher via Netgalley


For most of her teenage life, CeCe Edmonds has been dealing with the stares and the not-so-polite whispers that follow her around Edgelake High. So she has a large scar on her face—Harry Potter had one on his forehead and people still liked him.

CeCe never cared about her looks—until Emmett Brady, transfer student and football darling, becomes her literature critique partner. The only problem? Emmett is blindsided by Bryn DeNeuville, CeCe’s gorgeous and suddenly shy volleyball teammate.

Bryn asks CeCe to help her compose messages that’ll charm Emmett. CeCe isn’t sure there’s anything in his head worth charming but agrees anyway—she’s a sucker for a good romance. Unfortunately, the more messages she sends and the more they run into each other, the more she realizes there’s plenty in his head, from food to literature. Too bad Emmett seems to be falling for the wrong girl…  

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book involves one fiercely scarred girl who wants the new guy in town, the new guy who thinks he wants the new girl, and the new girl who really isn’t sure what she wants, and the misunderstanding that brings them all together. You’ll laugh, you’ll swoon, you’ll fall in love.   

My Thoughts

DON'T KISS THE MESSENGER is a fun read about love, identity, self-awareness, self acceptance, and friendship. When I first learned that Katie Ray had a new book coming out for Entangled Crush, it immediately went on my TBR list. I was vaguely aware of the story of Cyrano de Bergerac, I enjoy reading retellings, and I was interested in reading Katie Ray’s YA retelling of this story.

Straight off, I was a fan of CeCe and her no-nonsense "this is me, just as I am" self. And for other reasons, it was easy to relate to CeCe. Oh man, how did I know how CeCe felt, having a connection and then falling for the one who is falling for your friend. Too often I heard dreaded words, “Can you talk to her for me?” Bryn and CeCe’s situation was a little different, since she was helping Bryn with talking to Emmett, but the feeling of resignation is there because of course you want to help your friend find love with the one she is falling for.

I loved CeCe’s beautiful words in her emails to Emmett. They are poetry and show that it is easier to reveal your true self behind a veil. She had so much depth and knew how to express her emotions, it’s just too bad that she couldn’t use them for herself, but instead used them to give Bryn a voice.

I just know there was more to Bryn, but it was overshadowed by the intimidation of Emmett's intensity. I would've liked to see more of Bryn outside of who she was when she was with Emmett. It was easy to identify with that side of her too. Sometimes you are at a loss for words, but CeCe knew there was more substance to Bryn, and I wanted to see more of THAT girl.

What I liked:
  • CeCe and Tuba’s friendship - I loved the humor, the knowing looks, the fun!
  • The characters were athletes and intellectuals - you can be both!
  • Some REAL TALK between CeCe and her mother - especially when CeCe tells her mother that she needs to let her be broken. She can’t always be strong.

Some Favorite Quotes:

“I didn’t read to escape. I didn’t even read to be entertained. It was more elemental, more essential than that. I read because my imagination was the only thing that elevated me beyond my own reality.”

“I just live by the credence that life is at its best when accompanied by music.”

“Why did people associate alone time for lonely time?”

I really enjoyed DON'T KISS THE MESSENGER and I want to know the other characters. Will Tuba get her own story? Please say YES! I’m looking forward to reading more books in the Edgelake High series and more books by Katie Ray.

Disclaimer:  I received this e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I was not compensated in any way other than the e-ARC provided. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Katie Ray (also known by her previous author name, Katie Kacvinsky) writes teen and new adult fiction novels. Her books have been nominated for YALSA awards, and First Comes Love was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Her screenplay, A High Note, was a semifinalist in the Austin Screenplay Competition in 2015. She currently lives in Ashland, Wisconsin with her husband, two children, and a slightly insane dog.

Enter to win Don't Kiss the Messenger

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